Coast Guard rescues three people from Gulf of Mexico

MOBILE, Ala. – The Coast Guard rescued three people after their 38-foot fishing vessel, Elizabeth Mae, sank approximately 50 miles southeast of Apalachicola, Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico this morning.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Mobile received an emergency distress signal from a Digital Select Calling (DSC) device onboard the Elizabeth Mae at approximately 5 a.m. reporting that the vessel was taking on water.

Sector Mobile launched a HU-25 Falcon rescue jet and crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., the Coast Guard Cutter Seahawk, and a HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

The Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew medevaced two of the survivors from a life raft and the third survivor clinging to a cooler in the water without a life jacket. No injuries were reported and they were transported to the Apalachicola Airport.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

***Editor’s Note***
The Coast Guard Cutter Stingray conducted a safety inspection on the Elizabeth Mae in early February, and noted a discrepancy that the vessel had no life raft onboard. The acknowledgment of this discrepancy may have saved the lives of the Elizabeth Mae crewmembers today.

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